Consoling text message for my rejections


More often than not, most medics do not make it the first time they apply, particularly when applying as a mature student. In the days that rejections from medical schools prompt you to easily despair when it comes to seeing yourself as ‘the future doctor’, few people come up with thought provoking, engaging and searching ideas to challenge you not to lose hope at the first hurdle.

I am forced to post a text message that I received from a friend of mine, whom I am gonna keep his name anonymous, as I felt really honoured to get this sort of respectful feedback upon the rejections that left me helpless. Also, I feel this reflective, immensely descriptive as well as informative advice will be viewed as an invaluable tool to stick with our plan and reapply in the next application cycle, for those who are in the same boat. The sender of this message has secured a medical school place for the next academic year.

Hey, that was a long message.

I can fully understand whay you say about not wanting to start later, but then I have thought the same before. I think the thing to remember is that whilst younger graduates may have more clinical experience, age related life experience and professional maturity will be invaluable to both the bearer of that experience and those around them.

I think of multi-discplinary teams as being a combination of unique talents and experiences of all its individuals. You may be a so called ‘late starter’, as I am, but then we have different skill sets and unique things to offer that even the younger clinicians will appreciate and that will give us  our ‘unique selling points’, so to speak.

Given that, and the fact that retirement would be 35-40 years after graduation … you are not anywhere short of time. I know it is nerving when you see the big 30 encroaching, and I have thought similar things myself…but not every  journey needs completing, nor beginning before it.

My advice is …. If medicine is what you want, stick with it another year. Make a second application to medical engineering/bioengineering if that is what you want as a back up, then if you do not get into medicine you have a choice … take that course, or ask for a place on the same course the year after and try medicine again.

In any case, giving up at the first hurdle does not sound like you. I think  it is important to look back at your personal statement and see what we can do to make it perfect and ensure you an interview. That is not to say it is not good already, but may be a fresh pair of eyes, also from a native speaker,  may help you highlight whether it comes across as you intend.  I will give you a hand with it if you wish.

I think you can make it, but you will have a different and possibly more challenging pathway than many … but the rewards will be worth the effort.  You have the right people skills to be able to make it as a doctor and you are clearly academically able. I am sure time will deal you a good hand.  Patience is, as they say, a virtue. You have plenty of time yet.

This entry was posted in Access to medicine, Motivational articles, Want to be a doctor. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Consoling text message for my rejections

  1. Wise words indeed from your friend and in the comments by Ruthbug and Mikias. I’m unsure whether you applied again in 2013 but If medicine is the passion that your heart is set on, I hope you did and succeeded. I’m a super latecomer into medical school (40+) and there are some days where I am conscious about that but only a few. There are also plenty of med-students 30+ so age isn’t an issue unless you focus on it. We can still aim to become consultants if that’s what we want – we just won’t be the youngest ones in the room but we’ll still have a great time getting there and with plenty of experience to back us up and help us through. Keep going and best of luck.

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  2. I will also be reapplying for 2013 entry, and I also find it doubtful as to how I could significantly improve it. My first choice would be Manchester Uni but they are one of those UKCAT hungry institutions and would expect 660+ to be safely considered for an interview, as per past trends. If improving UKCAT is doable (despite its unpredictability), that is one important section of the application that one can improve on.
    I have seen your blog (an all-rounder content I would say :)), which is a reflection of a great piece of writing and would enrich people like me a lot in various areas. Regarding the informative topic on getting into medical schools, you are spot on in saying there are more qualified applicants than the number of places on offer and medical schools will differentiate applicants by picking the very silly things they would find a reason on to reject as much as they can. The type of applicants they prefer (or set of skills they look for) vary to the extent that no two medical schools are the same in their admission process. I guess we just have to play the game to our strengths and thorough researching on which medical schools fit with our education credentials can give us the edge.

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  3. Ruthbug says:

    This is so true, I’m glad I stumbled across this blog. I’m a mature/graduate medicine reapplicant, it is depressing sometimes but I just keep thinking about what I can add to my application and improve and aim to apply again for 2014 entry. I wrote a post called ‘The Difficulties of getting into medical school’ to express my frustration at how arbitrary it can be….one can meet or exceed the entry requirements but there are no guarantees.

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